This weekend I became a super hero. My unitard and titanium bangles are being tailored as we speak. I'm presently in the market for an affordable 2/1 underground cave.. if you guys know anyone who might have an underground cave available Feb. 1st, let me know.
"So, LadeeLeroy, you fancy yourself a super hero now. Hm. Funny. I don't see any reason for you to have such a classification."
Well, you smarmy reader you. Let me just give you some justification for my newly-found super hero status.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Actually, it was just kind of cold and humid.. not really stormy, but it was dark out.
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeal dark out.
Lipman, myself, and one of our friends were returning from a night out wining and dining on Outback Steakhouse gift certificates. (Lipman said, "This place offends the shit out of me. I mean look at this menu! "Aussietizers?!?!?! "Ab-Original recipes?!?!" Do you realize how horrible this is? Mmmmmmmm. This steak is good.") We were headed on over to Cap City to see if Biloon was doing a set.
I was folded up in the backseat of the Volksvagon. Lipman was driving and friend guy got passenger because he was all gimpified from a snow boarding accident he had.
Well, we're at this stop light and I'm getting my conversation on. That's when Lipman turns and says "Whoa, I think those people are fighting."
We all turn and see this couple standing in a parking lot. Maybe about 30-40 feet from us. There's an empty van with its high beams lighting the figures of the couple. It's obvious that this large man is really intimidating this woman. He's standing practically on top of her and yelling down at her.
"Whoa. Should we do something?," I asked as my asshole tightened at the thought.
"No. He's not hitting her or anything-" Lipman said. "If he hits her, we do something."
As those words turned into fog on the windshield, the man suddenly took the woman by her coat lapel and slammed her against the hood of the van.
"Oh shit!," we all said at once.
That's when I felt this anger surge through my body. This energy that pulsed up and down my frame propelled my body forward and I said, "Let me out."
Lipman turned and said, "What?"
"Let me out."
Without hesitation, Lipman got out of the car, pushed the seat forward and I sprung out of the backseat. "Bunty, think before you do anything."
"I'll be polite.," I said. Lipman got back in the car as the light had turned green and he was blocking traffic.
I walked straight to where the man and woman were standing. My heart was pounding in my chest and I could feel hot pricklies on the bottom of my feet. Suddenly, my brain whispered, "Um. What are you going to do?"
"I don't know."
"What if he hits you?"
I looked at the man. He was huge. I had on my tall person boots and was standing at about 6' 3", but this guy still had a good two inches on me and was pretty big width wise. However, he had a cane tucked under his arm. That's when my brain said, "Okay. He has a cane, which means that if you need to you can run and he won't be able to get you."
This was all the reason I needed.
By this point, I was standing right behind the man. The woman had wiggled herself out of being pinned against the hood of the van and was now just using all of her energy to not piss the man off.
He was screaming at her. "What the fuck you gonna do now?" he yelled. "Who the fuck you going home to now??"
"Excuse, me, sir...." I tried to say without a hint of intimidation in my voice.
I was standing about two feet from behind the guy. I could see his shoulders tense up. He didn't turn around.
"Excuse me sir. I have a bit of a problem with you pushing this woman around." I had no idea where my calmness was coming from, but I was trying to be as polite as possible.
The woman didn't look away from the man at all. Her face was frozen and their eyes must have been piercing one another.
"What the fuck are you gonna do?" the man asked the woman. He moved even closer to her and grabbed her shoulder.
"Sir, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you not to touch her again as it's making me very uncomfortable the way you are treating her." Yeah, that was me who said that.
The man turned towards me. It was the first time I saw his face. He had on a cowboy hat and wore a thick gray beard. He looked me right in the eye and said, "What the fuck do you want?"
That's when the woman stepped back from the man and started to walk away from the situation.
"I would appreciate it sir, if you would stop making me feel uncomfortable with the way you are handling this woman here." I felt my stomach tighten and my mouth smile a tad as I was trying to be as unthreatening as possible.
"Why don't you fuck off?," he said.
"No, I'm sorry. I'm afraid I can't do that until you leave this woman alone." That's when I started to walk along side the woman and whispered to her, "We're going to walk to this gas station over here where there's more people and alot of light, okay?" She nodded.
Lipman, at this point, had managed to swing the VW around and was following us in the car. The man quickened his pace and was walking alongside us.
"Look at what you did, you bitch. You brought total strangers into our life JUST LIKE YOU ALWAYS DO. Why don't you tell this bitch to fuck off?"
The woman remained silent and continued to walk towards the gas station.
"I'm sorry sir. I can't fuck off now. I've brought myself into this situation and I can't leave until I know that you're not going to hurt this woman.," I said as I scanned the gas station to see if there were plenty of people around to be witnesses if this man decided to wallop me and my skinny-getting-into-other-peoples-business-ass.
"Bitch, why don't you just go home? Fuck off and go home."
"I'm sorry I can't fuck off right now. I'm sorry. There's just not going to be any fucking off on my part at this moment."
By this point, we were in the well-lit parking lot of the gas station. The woman stood right next to me. The large man got right in her face and said, "Don't bother coming home tonight."
"You don't need to worry about that.," the woman said.
The man stood there in her face for a couple more seconds. I remained right by the woman's side, not more than 8 or 9 inches from this guy's face.
Lipman pulled into the gas station and hopped out of the car. Our gimpy friend jumped out too and they both walked over. Both were completely silent.
The man made a low, growling sound that seemed to come from his chest. He turned and looked at me one more time and threw the cane down. He then walked back to the van and drove away, flipping me off as he turned the corner.
"Well he seems like quite a catch," I said to the woman. Her face relaxed a bit as her shaking hand went through her purse and pulled out a menthol. She lit it as she leaned down to pick up the cane.
"He was saying he was gonna hit me with my own cane. Can you believe that? I tell you what... I tell you what...." she said as she steadied herself and looked up at me.
"You smoke?," she asked.
"I quit for New Year's but I could really take one right now, if you don't mind." She handed me a menthol and lit it for me. Lipman and the gimp friend went inside to find a number for a taxi company.
"I thought he was going to hit you."
"I thought he was going to hit me, too."
We both took a drag and looked at each other.
"You're not going home to him, are you?," I asked, a bit afraid of what the answer may be.
"Fuck no. I don't even live with him. We got separated a month ago and he wanted me to come back to him. That's why I was with him, because he wanted to talk about us getting back together. When he didn't want to hear that I didn't want an 'us' anymore, he blew up. That's when I walked out of the restaurant and decided to walk home. I don't need a man yelling at me. I'm a grown woman. I don't need that."
"You sure don't. Especially a guy who's going to push you around like that. That's some fucking bullshit right there."
"You know this is true, my sister friend. You know this is true."
And we sat in the cold and smoked. We exchanged stories, found out we were both from Louisiana. She told me how she had just returned from taking care of her father in a hospice and watched him die on the 20th of December. I told her how I had just gotten back from my brother's funeral.
"It's hard losing a little brother, I tell you what, sister. It's one of the hardest things to lose. I lost mine three months ago.," she said.
"Yeah, it is hard.," I said. "I like to think that he's still with me, though, you know. Still kind of hanging with me."
"Shit. I know my little brother's watching over me.," the woman said. "He's the one that sent you to help me."
I kind of looked at the woman and nodded. As I exhaled, the smoke created a globe that encompassed us.
"I bet your brother and my brother crossed paths and my brother said to your brother, 'Hey dude.. get your sister to help my sister out because this is some bullshit right here.'," the woman laughed. "My brother always hated that guy."
"I can tell you that, from first impressions, I'm not a huge fan of him either.," I smiled.
Lipman and the gimp friend returned with news that a taxi was on the way. The woman said, "You guys go on with your plans tonight."
"No, I'm going to stay until your taxi comes," I said.
"Ah shit girl. You've already stood by my side for long enough tonight. I'm sure there's other damsels in distress right now that need rescuing. I'll be fine."
"Are you sure? Where are you going to go?," I asked.
"My daughter is over in this neighborhood. I'll take the taxi over there and I'll be fine. Please, go on. I'm fine now."
I agreed and folded myself back into the VW. The woman walked inside the gas station and perched herself next to the window. As we pulled away she waved a small little wave of thanks.
"I bet that it was a scam for taxi fare.," Lipman said. "In New York, people do shit like that all the time."
"Yeah. Well, if it was a scam, I came out the winner because I got a free cigarette and am feeling pretty fucking good about myself.," I said.
"That was pretty cool of you.," the gimp added.
"Yeah, Bunty. I can't believe you did that. I'm proud of you. Bunty the Super Hero.," Lipman said as he drove us to a night of laughter at the comedy club.
That night, as I fell asleep, I thought to myself, "I would never had done that before. Before I would have just kept out of it and hoped that strangers would be decent to each other. Before I would have not done a damn thing."
And that's when my brain asked, "Before what?"
I waited for the answer. It was quiet for some time.
"Before Alex died. Before he died..... Something is happening to me. Something is making me not use fear as an excuse for doing things that I want or need to do...... I think that maybe I'm not scared of death any more."
That was all I needed to realize. A sense of relief lulled me to sleep and, although I can't truly remember, I would like to think that I dreampt of leaping tall buildings, flying invisible jets, rescuing those in need... with my unitard and bangle of titanium on my ripped body and thoughts of peace and Alex in my mind.
But also true.